Preheat your oven for a family favorite recipe for The Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting made with a surprising technique twist!

A slice of banana cake with cream cheese frosting on a plate

I always hesitate to name a recipe “The Best.” It makes you wonder where you go next once “The Best” is achieved.

Behind-the-scenes look at decorating a cake and capturing the perfect image

And the answer is nowhere. You go nowhere.

You bake this cake. You sit down. You eat this cake. And then you never search for another banana cake recipe for the rest of your life. Deal?

Stand mixer paddle attachment over glass bowl with batter

This banana cake is one of those recipes I grew up on, never really knowing where the mysterious notecard splattered with cake batter and vanilla extract—the pre-online indication of a well-loved recipe—came from.

Freshly baked cakes cooling on a wire rack

But thanks to the interwebs, it’s been digitized, and in return, it’s floated from recipe site to food blog, magazine to cookbook. And now it’s landed here.

Banana cake can often get a bad rap for being secondary to its carrot cake counterpart. But there’s room for veggie-packed and fruit-filled cakes at our table. This cake is a great way to make use of overripe bananas, but if your bananas aren’t looking as speckled (read: sweet!) as you’d hope, check out my simple trick for how to ripen bananas in less than 15 minutes!

The Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a wooden cake stand

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Dessert

The Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Make the most of overripe bananas with this recipe for The Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
4.91 from 10 votes
A slice of banana cake with cream cheese frosting on a plate
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients 

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, chilled
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 275°F. Grease and flour two round 9-by-2-inch cake pans. (See Kelly’s Notes.)
  • In a small bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the lemon juice and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add the vanilla and then beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Fold in the mashed banana mixture and divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. (See Kelly’s Notes.)
  • Bake the cakes for 55 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven, place them on baking sheets and immediately transfer them to the freezer for 45 minutes to cool while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl, then add the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the cakes from the freezer and transfer one cake onto your serving platter. Top the cake with half of the cream cheese frosting. Place the second cake on top and frost it with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped walnuts (optional). Slice and serve.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • The secret tip that makes this recipe the best-ever banana cake is that the cake bakes up low and slow at 275°F for about 1 hour. It will be less moist if you try to rush the cooking time and avoid placing it in the freezer straight from the oven. The blast of cool air helps seal in the moisture.
  • It’s important to note that the round cake pans are 9 inches wide by 2 inches tall. The amount of batter in this recipe will not fit in round cake pans that are only 1 inch tall.
  • This recipe will also work with a 9-by-13-by-2-inch cake pan. The baking time will vary, so it’s important to test the cake with a toothpick after it’s baked for about 50 minutes.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 568kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 237mg, Potassium: 196mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 55g, Vitamin A: 800IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1.7mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    AMAZING Cake !! A nice fresh taste to the finished product. Not over the top sweet. The low and slow then put in the freezer process is a game changer. Really makes a difference. You have to try it. Can the technique be used for other cakes ? Note: This is a LARGE cake. Bring your appetite. Also, should I keep the cake in the refrigerator or on the counter? Covered of course. Oh, and I used Kelly’s trick to ripen bananas in 15 minutes. Check it out. My Mom is going to love this cake for Mother’s Day !!

    1. Hi Lauren! I recommend storing it in the fridge. And yes, the freezer technique works for other cakes as well. :)

  2. Hi! Quick question, is it ok if I make this without the lemon juice? I dont have any with me at home.

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